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Meet OP: Culture, Engagement and Diversity

In response to your suggestions, we’ve launched the “Meet OP” series of department profiles. In case you missed any, you can see all previous articles in the series by clicking here.


When asked to name something people don’t know about her group, Culture, Engagement and Diversity Program Manager Joanna Trammell answered, “My department has a staff of one — me.”

Despite the small size of her department, Trammell is tasked with a goal that affects everyone at UCOP: Improving service, staff engagement, diversity, culture and climate. Attending to how we all feel about working here is at the core of her mission.

Created just a year ago, the job continues to evolve as Trammell develops new programs and explores ways to achieve her objectives. She is responsible both for developing quick-wins – such as a welcome packet for new employees – and longer-term strategies that ensure our work environment values and supports diversity, inclusion and employee engagement.

Knowing that she can’t do all that alone, Trammell has started the Employee Engagement and Diversity Group, which brings together a diverse band of staff members, managers and senior leaders. Meeting every three weeks, the group creates and evaluates ideas and initiatives to help UCOP staff feel valued, understood, respected and appreciated – and thus better able to fulfill the university’s mission and goals.

Trammell has also revived the “Getting to Know You” series in order to help promote a sense of community. These brown bags offer OP departments the opportunity to introduce their staff members, discuss their department’s work within the UC system and showcase some recent accomplishments. The Event Services Group and Academic Senate were first up to bat, and in the next presentation, Vice Provost Yvette Gullatt will speak about UC’s role in advancing access, equity, diversity and inclusion in K-12 schools, California Community Colleges, and on UC campuses. The event will take place on Thursday, May 25 from 12-1 p.m. in Franklin Lobby 1.

Like Link’s Meet OP series, these presentations are a response to requests from our staff to hear more about what various areas of OP are working on. Trammell encourages people to attend the brown bags, especially for departments that are unfamiliar to them. “This series provides a snapshot of the amazing work that staff at OP are doing. With the Events Services Group, we learned more about the events they do for OP both onsite and offsite. Academic Senate explained that they don’t just support our faculty – they are also advocates for staff in so many ways! I hope that OP staff will take advantage of these brown bag discussions to learn more about the tremendous work that is being done. Staff not only walk away with information, but an increased sense of pride in the work that UCOP does to impact our staff, the campuses and the community.”

To address another important aspect of the work climate, Trammell has launched a Diversity Speaker Series, with three well-received events so far: “Implicit Bias,” “Talking to Children about Race and Racism,” and “Insights from Insects.” (To watch a video of the latter presentation, click here). The next presentation on July 20 will feature the 2016 UCOP CORO leaders discussing their recent report on creating a more equitable and inclusive environment. (Location and other details TBA — stay tuned for an announcement.)

She may be a team of one but she’s not working alone. Trammell credits the engagement of UCOP staff who volunteer to work on her initiatives as critical to their success. “They’re all passionate about diversity, engagement and UCOP – they want to make positive change in the organization,” she says.

If you’d like to engage with Trammell on the issues she’s involved with, she will be a special guest speaker at one of the upcoming monthly OP Staff Assembly meetings, addressing questions and ideas that OP staff submits ahead of time. Keep an eye on Link for an announcement of the date and how to submit your questions.


We hope you’ll offer us your thoughts on this article or the Meet OP series by commenting below or emailing Link editor 

Reporting for this profile was provided by Carol Lake and Cindy Lau. Interested in doing some reporting for Link? Contact


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